Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) has been running a “Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on Fortification of Rice & its distribution through Public Distribution System.
- The scheme is aimed to initiate the process of taking the country towards nutritional security.
- The Pilot Scheme has been approved for a period of three years beginning 2019-2020.
- Fifteen State Governments have identified their respective districts (1 district per state) for implementing the Pilot Scheme.
- Already 5 states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh have started the distribution of fortified rice in their respective identified districts.
- The FCI has been asked to come up with a comprehensive plan for procurement and distribution of fortified rice in all the Districts of the country under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) & Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme from 2021-2022.
- Special focus would be placed on supplying fortified rice to the 112 specially identified Aspirational Districts of the country.
- To realise the above goal, there is a need to scale up supply of Fortified Rice Kernels (FRK), whose availability is currently at a meagre quantity of 15,000 MT per annum.
- Covering 112 Aspirational Districts for PDS, ICDS and MDM would mean a requirement of nearly 130 Lakh MT of Fortified Rice.
- There are nearly 28,000 Rice Mills in the country which need to be equipped with Blending Machines etc.. for mixing FRK with normal rice.
- FCI has been asked to tie up with the rice mills in different regions for necessary investments in this regard.
- The operational readiness of the FCI would help in successful scaling up of procurement and supply of fortified rice in a phased manner from 2021-2022 onwards.